Vendors: Show me the Money

Vendors. Why do you always put pricing on the last page of the proposal?

I just received a 43-page proposal earlier this week. Salesman X, I’m sure you worked very hard putting it together, but do you think I read any of the first 42 pages? Nope. I cannot tell you a single word on any but the last page of that PDF. (And thank goodness it is electronic. If you would have wasted that much paper…)

Look, vendors, your salespeople don’t read or know that fluff, so don’t expect me to – leave it out and let us all get to the point. If your product needs page after page of explanation to convey its value proposition you’ve got bigger problems than a proposal will ever solve. Your product’s reputation and website should give me all the information I need.

I know that you’re worried your proposal will fall into the hands of someone who didn’t observe your so-boring-I-fell-asleep, I mean, riveting web demo. Newsflash! He or she isn’t going to read through all of that junk either. Like me, they’ll quickly scroll to the very bottom of the document in order to get on with their work.

The fact that you require me to sit through an hour* demo in order to get pricing on your product is insulting and disrespectful of my time. If your product won’t ever fit my budget why are we even playing these games and wasting so much of both of our companies’s time? (*Usually scheduled for an hour, but almost always goes much longer because your salespeople go through slides about “the company” even though we always ask them to cut right to the advanced features that matter most to us.)

Oh, you like play Let’s Make a Deal? Well that’s a whole other level of annoying, but, fine. Just send your base prices up front and let us know, like a used car or set of golf clubs, this is OBO. (That’s “Or Best Offer” for those who’ve never seen newspaper classifieds. Don’t worry, you’re not missing a thing.)

Chasing price is exhausting for IT personnel and it wastes the time of both the potential client and the vendor. Vendors, please be upfront with your pricing. If you’re really amazing you’ll take a page out of the SaaS playbook and put pricing right on a clearly marked tab of your website so I don’t have to sit through your “riveting” demo if your pricing is completely out of my budget. Again, I’ll pre-qualify myself and not waste your salesforce’s time if I can’t afford it.

About Kye Hittle

I’m tall, enjoy traveling, running and the company of good friends. Lover of [square brackets]. (OK, parenthesis too, which I overuse, and {curly braces}!) Professionally I am the Director of IT for a nonprofit and do freelance higher-ed, small biz and other nonprofit tech gigs. I heart technology used for personal and societal good.
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